Anyone who knows anything at all about French adornments and watch brand Cartier has heard of one of its most famous assortments, the Panthère de Cartier.
Cartier is notable for its Art Deco pieces and love of investigating the feel of wild beasts, anyway that still doesn’t completely explain why the exceptionally old Panthère assortment became as notable as it is today.
However, each brilliant thing has a start – and this brilliant thing got its start in 1914 . . . with a painting.
At this point as expected, Louis, Jacques, and Pierre Cartier were managing the company. Cartier was established in 1847 by the trio’s grandfather, Louis-François Cartier, and it was passed down to Louis, Jacques, and Pierre through their father, Alfred.
Impressed with his work, Louis asked French painter George Barbier to create a watercolor painting in 1914. Louis planned to utilize it for an invitation to a Parisian gems display. He wound up enjoying the painting such a lot of that from that point on, it has been in nonstop use via Cartier as brand advertising.
The painting, Dame à la panthère, portrays an elegantly dressed woman with a panther at her feet. This crossroads in Cartier history marks the main utilization of an animal at the company, and it is this painting that essentially commenced the panther theme.
The reason for placing a panther at the woman’s feat is covered in a touch of secret, yet Cartier master Geo Cramer has a potential answer. “At the start of 20th century, enormous cats were stylish for communicating womanliness – in fact, the beast was viewed as the ultimate articulation of gentility,” he explains.
Later that same year, the main piece of panther gems via Cartier came into reality: a watch intended to resemble the spotted coat of one of the magnificent cats. More ladies’ watches using the panther subject were soon to follow.
The first Panther was a watch
The signature mottled theme of the Montre Panthère (Panther Watch) was achieved by dotting black onyx among pavé-set diamonds to address the pattern of a panther’s coat. One year later, a brooch-type watch was created utilizing the same pattern. It wound up being offered to Pierre Cartier, who was at the time overseer of Cartier New York.
The panther was completely portrayed for the absolute first time on a vanity case claimed by Jeanne Toussaint, a woman who has been called the Coco Chanel of adornments and who filled in as style inspiration for some of Louis Cartier’s plans. In fact, Cramer figures Toussaint may also have been the co-inspiration for the panther appearing in Barbier’s painting. “It is conceivable that Jeanne Toussaint was the primary woman to wear a coat made of panther hide in Paris,” he hypothesizes.
A working relationship between Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1976) and Louis Cartier began when she was 31. Cartier was awed by her beauty, carefree soul, and aura of grandeur. Toussaint, already familiar with decorative arts, was planning popular handbags at the time. Louis admired her expertise and taste and allured her to join Cartier.
Toussaint also played a large part in making the Panthère de Cartier assortment the symbol it was to became. Apparently, she pretty much summarized its substance – which earned her the nickname “La Panthère” – thanks to her personality and female style that Louis Cartier found so fascinating. He employed her as head of Cartier’s accessories department the same year he met her.
Toussaint immediately developed to be regarded and admired inside the company, becoming known for her flawless style, which included blending patterns, however making it work in an extremely classy way.
This marvelous unusualness was not simply found in her attire; via Cartier’s accounts her apartment was fundamentally the same as: present day looking, however with careful utilization of antique and rare furniture.
Artistically speaking, Toussaint was entirely knowledgeable and had a phenomenal eye, allowing her to combine the correct things to achieve the perfect look she was going for. She also had a passion for what she was doing and was roused by different societies. Toussaint garments and apartment were her way of communicating her personality, and it functioned admirably for her.
One culture that largely affected Toussaint was India. She wanted to incorporate Indian fashions, which were not stylish in Europe at the time, into her ideas – for example by using yellow gold, bunches of gemstones, rose themes, and brooches, all of which were brilliant. The utilization of semi-valuable stones, for example, coral also added to this “unfamiliar” effect.
At Cartier, Toussaint came up with many brilliant plans, for example, scent in a jug faceted like a diamond and – an especially memorable plan of hers – a brooch addressing a beautiful bird detained in a cage. Four years later, she created another one of these, this season of a singing bird in an open cage. It was called Oiseau libéré (“Liberated Bird”).
In 1927, a creator named Peter Lemarchand joined Cartier’s team. Gifted, he noticed panthers at the zoo until he, cooperating with Toussaint, was able to do them justice.
Lemarchand played a large part in making the panther the legend for Cartier that it is today. Around this time, the primary brooches completely addressing the animals (again made of diamonds and onyx, yet now portrayed on the full creature) began appearing.
In 1933, Jeanne Toussaint was appointed overseer of fine gems at Cartier.
High society admirers
Throughout the years, many famous people and high society personalities, including respectability, became admirers of the consistently developing Panthère de Cartier assortment. This posting has noticeably included María Félix (1914-2002), a Mexican actress nicknamed The Mexican Panther. In 2005, Cartier actually dedicated a watch to Félix named La Doña, another one of her nicknames.
American beneficiary Barbara Hutton may have favored the yellow diamond and onyx tiger plans, however it didn’t prevent her from purchasing the panther plans, too.
Toussaint managed to prevail upon many important and influential customers thanks to her one of a kind fashion insights.
One of the main fans of Cartier was the Duchess of Windsor, in any case known by her “common” name Wallis Simpson. In 1948, her third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, asked Cartier to create a three-dimensional panther brooch for his wife.
The brooch comprised of a yellow gold panther spotted with black enamel loosening up on a 90-carat cabochon-cut emerald. At the time, the Duchess of Windsor was considered as being quite possibly the most elegant ladies in fashion on the planet, and in this manner she helped along the popularity of the panther immensely.
This brooch also marked an achievement throughout the entire existence of the Panthère de Cartier: it was the first run through the cat was addressed in quite a while, an important advance for the brand’s famous line of jewelry.
One year later, in 1949, the Windsors purchased another three-dimensional panther brooch made of diamonds and onyx and mounted in platinum, this time laying on an extremely special 152-carat sapphire cabochon. A major fan, the Duchess of Windsor acquired many more pieces from the Panther assortment over the accompanying years.
Daisy Fellowes, socialite, beneficiary, and Paris manager of American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, was moreover a panther fan. She purchased a diamond-and-sapphire brooch addressing the catlike hanging in the situation of the sheep in the classic story of the Golden Fleece.
Articulated wild cats
Articulated representations of wild cats on bracelets, brooches, and more were becoming increasingly popular, and in 1958 the Panther caught the attention of Princess Nina Aga Khan (née Nina Dyer, an Anglo-Indian fashion model married to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan).
Her husband, the Aga Khan, immediately acquired several additional things from the Panthère de Cartier assortment for her, including an articulated panther brooch, a bracelet with closes shaped like panther heads, and a similarly planned fluted gold bracelet, the heads of which could be worn as earrings. The bracelet could be utilized as the handle for an “metamorphosis” evening bag in, another breakthrough idea for Cartier.
Jeanne Toussaint kicked the bucket in 1978, yet the beautiful beast she brought into Cartier’s assortment lives on today and is constantly being reinvented.
A holder of the Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor, Toussaint has had a major impact on fashion. Pierre Claudel, the husband of Marion Cartier (Pierre Cartier’s daughter) and the child of author Paul Claudel, portrayed her as having “guided gems to advancement while never sacrificing great taste to unadulterated commercial interests.” That’s a serious troublesome thing to pull off.
The present day era
In 1983, Cartier launched another Panther watch, which was very much like the recently released Santos de Cartier, yet differentiated by flat gold connections that increased adaptability, making it considerably more realistically panther-like. This was extremely popular and the watch is perceived as a triumph even today.
Cartier has kept on launching more panther plans consistently and in 2009, the brand incorporated the majestic snow panther into its jewelry.
In 2014, Cartier celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Panthère de Cartier, to pay tribute to which a 56-piece set of adornments was launched and a grand presentation of “Cartier style” went on show at Paris’ Grand Palais.
Though it is nearly difficult to communicate the Cartier Panther’s allure in simple words, one glance at Jeanne Toussaint is perhaps all you would need.
She boasted many of the same features as Cartier’s trademark cat does, however perhaps the most charming aspect of both of these characters is their uncanny abilities to combine a bafflingly compelling and raw feeling of danger with an unadulterated, fascinating, and refined aura of female elegance. This is something that Louis Cartier clearly perceived when he chose to offer Toussaint a situation at the company his grandfather founded.
And these very traits are what I accept make up the Panthère de Cartier’s charm and temptation. Wearing a piece of the famous panther adornments allows you to feel wild and untamed while as yet retaining a significant degree of class and sumptuous sophistication thanks to the beast’s diamond hide, black onyx spots, and signature emerald eyes – as well as its balance and, later, its streaming movement.
In these ways the panther exemplifies many of the same traits that Cartier the brand addresses: amazing, extravagant, enticing.
Furthermore, the panther is an image of womanliness, a savage, autonomous sort of gentility that was new to the world when the Panthère de Cartier was created. Starting with a wristwatch, everything being equal, – a fashion thing for forward-thinking females around then – and not long after becoming an image of solid, sure and, the greater part of all, free and wild ladies (as demonstrated by the many famous adherents of the assortment), largely, obviously, thanks to the impact of Jeanne Toussaint, “la panthère.”
Toussaint had always been her own individual with an exceptional personality and style while as yet maintaining her female touch. These are perhaps traits that each woman wearing panther adornments made progress toward, as well as something that attracted individuals to Toussaint herself. This memorable substance is what Cartier has effectively transferred into the Panthère line of adornments, a remarkable symbol of gentility, extravagance, and – presently – longevity.
For more information, please visit www.cartier.com .